Digital Privacy at the Border

Technology has shrunk our world, and it’s now commonplace to cross borders just to attend a meeting or event. Our information crosses international borders even more frequently, whether it’s sent digitally, by regular mail, or by phone.

The risks to data have become added baggage when traveling, and can be of particularly significant concern to privacy practitioners, lawyers, physicians and others with a professional or legislated obligation to safeguard confidential, sensitive or personal information.

Questions about protecting mobile data run the gamut:  What happens to privacy when we travel with a smart phone, tablet, or laptop? Do we have to give up device passwords? Is our camera subject to scrutiny? What can happen if we refuse? And what about meeting our obligations to safeguard personal privacy, protect lawyer/client privilege, and maintain doctor/patient confidentiality when border authorities scour our devices?

Answers to some of these questions can be found in these guidance documents:

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud

Minister of Public Safety letter about CBSA inspections of devices where a lawyer claims privilege